About Agra Hotels
The Taj Mahal is one of the most wonderful tourism destinations in India and is aptly considered one of the greatest wonders of the world. People all over the world desire to see the grandeur of the Taj Mahal and only a lucky few get to see this wonder in marble. The Taj Mahal signifies and glorifies human love, has withstood the test of time, and still stands in all its glory. Emperor Shahjahan has firmly put Agra on the travel and tourism map of the world.
Gujarat Tribal Tour with Taj Mahal
|Day - 1 - Delhi:|
|Arrive Delhi, receive upon arrival and straight drive to hotel. Night stay at Delhi.|
|Day - 2 - Delhi:|
|Delhi - Breakfast at hotel.
Proceed for day tour of Old & New Delhi.
OLD DELHI - A sightseeing tour of Old Delhi would entail visiting the Raj Ghat - the memorial site where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated; Jama Masjid - the largest mosque in India and the Red Fort - once the most opulent fort and palace of the Moghul Empire.
Cycle rickshaw ride from Jama Masjid to Chandni Chowk.
NEW DELHI - An extensive sightseeing tour of New Delhi would include a visit to the Humayun's Tomb, the Qutub Minar, a drive along the ceremonial avenue - Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate, Parliament House, the President's Residence and would end with a drive through the Diplomatic Enclave.
Evening will be at leisure. Overnight Delhi.
|Day - 3 -- Delhi - Agra - Delhi:|
|Delhi - Agra - By road covering 201 km in 4hr.
Proceed by surface for Agra after breakfast. ENROUTE VISIT SIKANDRA.
Reach Agra and check into hotel.
Badal Singh established the city of Taj in 1475. Agra finds mention in the Mahabharat as Agraban. This city in those days was considered to be the sister-city of Mathura, which was more prominent than Agraban. Agra came into its own when the Lodhi Kings chose this place beside the RIVER YAMUNA to be their capital city. Sikander Lodhi made Agra his capital but Babar defeated the Lodhis to capture not only Agra but also laid the foundation of the Mughal empire.
The coming of Babar heralded a new era, which was to see Agra at its zenith during the reign of Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. It was during Akbar's period that Agra became the center of art, culture and commerce and learning. This trend reached its height when Shah Jahan became the ruler.
In the Mid 16th century and earlier 17th century Agra witnessed a frenzied building activity and it was during this time when the symbol of love Taj Mahal was built. The buildings made during this era were purely in the contemporary Mughal style and of very high quality. The same is still reflected in whatever monuments remain in Agra. The narrow lanes of Agra filled with aroma of Mughlai cuisine, the craftsman who are busy in crating master pieces with their skill all remind of the Mughal royalty which this city had once experienced. Today whatever remains, has become a major tourist attraction which has taken Agra again to the heights of glory but this time as a major tourist destination of India.
Proceed for sightseeing.
Visit the TAJ MAHAL - one of the Seven Wonders of the World was built by Shah Jahan in 1631 AD and was completed in 1651AD. Taj Mahal - The symbol of Love was built in the memory of Mumtaz Mahal (Shah Jahan' s second Wife).
AGRA FORT - Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone. Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction.
In the evening drive back to Delhi. Night stay at Delhi.
|Day - 4- Fly to Ahmedabad:|
|Drive to Utelia, a feudal village clustered around a medieval palace. Overnight in Hotel|
|Day - 5 - The Bharwad:|
|A pastoral people, the Bharwad are shepherds and cattlemen. No longer wanderers, most Bharwadi live in villages painting their houses primarily in blues, greens and white. We visit several, wandering the neat lanes, and perhaps visiting one or two homes. Some Bharwadi have turned their talents to different occupations; the polishing and cutting of diamonds is one, and we will be able to photograph the steps that turn a handful of dull looking opaque lumps into sparkling gems. At a local camel-breeding farm, the business of producing the finest stock of camels is explored.|
|Day - 6 - A Stepwell & Sun Temple:|
|Our drive to Balaram takes us away from life today and into the past. We plan three major stops: a museum, a stepwell (baoli), and a sun temple. The Calico Museum is one of the most fascinating museums in all of Gujarat, if not India, and houses an extensive array of tribal fabrics, both modern and antique, wall hangings, tapestries, and costumes. Adalaj Wav (built in 1499) is the most famous of the Gujarati baolis (step-wells). These elaborate creations, unique to Gujarat, were constructed by royal families as a means of ensuring a source of water throughout the year and as a place of escape from the fierce Gujarati summers. The stone-clad walls have been adorned with carvings of flowers and birds, and at the bottom of the five story-deep well, is a small pool of water. The Modhera Sun Temple dates from the reign of King Bhimdev I (1027/27), and is said to resemble the famous Konark temple in Orissa. Like Adalaj Wav, Modhera's granite austerity is relieved by the slight of brightly-clad locals walking around the complex. (Balaram Palace Resort, 3 nights)|
|Day - 7 - The Gowala & The Garacia:|
|Tribes that are second cousins to each other, they differ only in the manner of living; the Gowala are more settled, the Garacia are still prone to roaming, and their women dress is a manner slightly less ostentatious than the Gowala females. Their tribal home is among the hills that separate Gujarat from Rajasthan, and they are primarily sheepherders. One evening we will enjoy a private performance of tribal dances.|
|Day - 8 - Patan's Patola Weavers and The Rani-ki-Vav:|
|An art that today is only practised by three families, patola is an intricate form of double ikat weaving that is so difficult and demanding that one sari can take up to six months to complete. All three families live near Gujarat's oldest baoli, the 11th-century Rani-ki-vav; we will visit one of the families, and explore the stepwell during our drive into the Little Rann of Kutch. (Desert Courser Camp, 3 nights)|
|Day -09 - The Banjara and The Rabari:|
|The Little Rann of Kutch separates Kutch from the rest of Gujarat. It is an area composed of marshy salt flats and inhospitable terrain. Flamingos breed in the area's shallow lakes; here too, the last remaining khurs (Asiatic wild asses) live in a protected sanctuary. Through this land travel the Rabari, the most nomadic of Gujarat's tribes, constantly searching for better grazing ground for their camels and sheep. Other tribes have settled here, including the Banjara, who make their living from cattle, and whose female members are famous for their embroidery.|
|Day -10 - Into The Rann of Kutch:|
|Today, we head westward into the bleak countryside of Kutch, Gujarat's last frontier. It will be a day of driving, with no scheduled stops, only those of our own choosing as we head toward Bhuj, the region's capital. This, fortunately, is the season when the Rabari migrate, so it's possible our journey may be enlivened by meeting a group of them along the way. (Prince Hotel, 4 nights)|
|Day - 11 - 12 - A Melting Pot of Tribes:|
|Megwar. Samma. Jat. Mutwa. Ahir. Rabari. These are just some of the tribes we will photograph over the next four days as we make daily excursions into the barren and inhospitable landscape that is the Great Rann of Kutch. Some time will be devoted to Bhuj, which was partially destroyed by the earthquake that struck in January 2001. We tour the Old City (via motor rickshaws) seeing, among other places, the Aina (Old) and Prag (New) mahals (palaces) and visit the Bhartiya Folk Museum with its exhibits pertaining to local tribal life. We also visit an artist who is one of only three peple continuing to paint in the Rogan style.|
|Day - 13 - Homeward Bound:|
|Saturday morning we fly from Bhuj to Bombay. Upon arrival, we are transferred to our hotel. In the late evening be driven to the airport for onward flights.|
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